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Japan to loosen COVID-19 travel restrictions on Oct. 11

 UPI News logo: MainLogo UPI News 2 days ago Matt Bernardini

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Japan will relax its strict COVID-19 border controls and open up the tourism industry on Oct. 11, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in New York on Thursday.

The country will reinstate visa waivers and end the cap on daily arrivals. Kishida said the goal is to "relax border control measures to be on par with the U.S."

While Japan's decision comes as the country's deadliest wave of the pandemic recedes, it could also provide a boost to the country's economy. The yen is at its lowest level against the dollar in decades, making the nation an attractive and cheaper tourist spot.

Japan let visitors from 68 countries stay for as long as 90 days before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bloomberg. The country saw a record 32 million visitors in 2019. That number collapsed to 246,000 last year.

COVID-19 cases and deaths worldwide remain at the lowest levels since June with an 11% weekly drop in infections to around 475,000 daily and a 10% decline in fatalities to about 1,550 each day -- about one-tenth of the record highs.

Kishida also announced plans for the government to help prop up the yen.

"The principle is for markets to decide currency levels, but we cannot overlook repeated excessive moves due to speculation," Kishida said.


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